Paul Simon wrote, “every generation throws a hero up the pop charts” and how correct he was. But Simon could have been talking about the product life cycle of any consumer item that relies upon favor for its sales.
Fifties guitars and boutique handmades are priced out of the reach for all but the wealthy or the truly dedicated players—something was bound to burst. Just as Andy Williams was left high and dry by the arrival of The Beatles, so too might be the fate of instruments from the golden age. Disdain of the old has often been the motivation for trends of the young.
We don’t need your stinkin’ Les Pauls and Stratocasters, we’ve got cheapo student guitars that sound funky and make us look different than the old people in classic rock and country.
Maybe the clever suits at PRS will abandon their collectibles attitude and scramble to duke it out with more trendy upstarts like Fano. The executive teams at Fender and Gibson are already turning the microscope onto the pages of their cheesiest past offerings—you know, the ones that sort of inspired Fano in the first place.
Meanwhile, Rickenbacker just continues on making beautiful and glorious sounding, but unplayable art.